Following in the footsteps of the Porsche Panamera and Aston Martin Rapide, the Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Break concept signals the arrival of a new market segment for the brand.
Due to make its debut at Auto China 2010, the Shooting Break concept features elements introduced with the latest models from the Mercedes stable, including the radiator grille, with the large star and bionic slats from the SLS AMG super sports car.
The grille is flanked either side by full LED headlamps which for the first time feature LED technology for all of the dynamic light functions.
The side profile - the bane of four-door coupes - makes a successful compromise between coupe and shooting break, finishing with an estate-like rump to complete the aggressive package.
The coupe element has been emphasised with a low window design which also highlights the greenhouse with polished aluminium trim.
The interior is a combination of natural wood and leather materials, with a full-length centre console and four-seat layout now typical of cars in this new market segment.
The Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Break concept is powered by a forthcoming new engine generation from Mercedes, boasting a 3.5-litre V6 powerplant which produces 225kW and peak torque of 370Nm.
To cap off the unveiling of this latest concept, Mercedes has also supplied a brief history lesson of the origins of the name "Shooting Break".
Break, or the homonym Brake, was the name once given to carriages used to "break" in wild horses and also to restrict (or "brake") their urge to move, so that they could be put to use as work horses. Since the carts could easily be broken as part of this process, people tended not to use ones which they may have urgently needed for other purposes.
Where necessary, "Brakes" were often fitted out with variable bodies, which were only really used to carry along anything that may have been necessary for the hunt, for example. Any such vehicle which was used when going out shooting was called a Shooting Brake or Shooting Break. In the 1960s and 1970s motorised Shooting Breaks were popular in Great Britain - exclusive cross-over vehicles, which combined the luxuriousness of a coupé with the luggage space of an estate.
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